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I_Smell_Tuna

Hybrid Game

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I_Smell_Tuna    96
I have an idea for a hybrid style game. I'm not sure if it's been done but if it hasn't it should be. Heres the basics of my idea for the game. You have a person playing in an RTS mode of the game. They build a base, create units ect. Then you have people playing in an FPS or RPG mode. When the RTS person creates an infantry unit a FPS/RPG person spawns at the barracks. This could make for a very dynamic game play where entire buildings are destroyed, vehicles, and super-weapons play a more pivotal role in the game. I'm not so much asking for feedback on how to program it but if it would be a style of gameplay that you would enjoy. Thanks for your response! I'm new to the forums and didn't see the Game Design topic so I first posted this topic under the Game Programming topic. Here is a link to the thread. http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=321674

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Boku San    428
The Natural-Selection mod for Half-Life is very much like this, pitting Aliens versus Marines. The marines assign a "commander", who sits in, of course, the "commander's chair". The commander is given an overhead RTS-styled view and can give orders to the other people in the game. The people can choose to obey or ignore these orders, but it's often beneficial to, say, build that turret factory in the corner so the incoming aliens don't kill everything.

Aliens, however, have no commander, and focus on a type of "Hive Sight". There's no queen, no nothing for the aliens.

Two very different gameplay styles. I bet by the time I press reply I've already been beaten with this response.

EDIT: Nope, not beaten. Ok, found the link and figured out how to make it not suck.

Natural-Selection Home.

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BS-er    181
Battlezone II has a multiplayer mode that is sort of like that, where you have a commander doing RTS type duties and "thugs" doing combat, although the line is fuzzy at times.

The hybrid RPG/FPS market hasn't been hugely successful unfortunately, although I'm baffled as to why. I love that type of game and it can be quite addictive. All my game development efforts have been directed toward such a game.

So to answer your question, I would quite enjoy such a game, and I think it is an under-explored niche that's waiting to be filled.

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Dakar    182
I once had an idea like this; side A plays an RTS while side B plays an FPS to defeat A.

One problem I think there is is that people are used to larger battles with multiple units. Even if we assume that 100 people can play, Each side is only using 49. In a game of Total Annihilation, for example, it is not uncommon for people to reach their 500 unit max.

Also, what happens when there are less than the max spawned? Do the FPS players just sit around doing nothing?

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WeirdoFu    205
Well, one issue I can see right off the bat is that its hard to get so many people cooperating in such a fashion. The commanders may give orders that none of the "units" follow, which may end up being just a total mess and everyone blame the commander for doing an aweful job. Or the situation can be turned around where you have "units" that do exactly as the commander says, but the commander has no clue what he/she is doing, so things still turn out to be a mess. There's just way too many human factors involved. And for anyone who has ever played many team/squad based games, you'll know that finding a good team is hard enough not to mention time consuming at times (which is why there are clans).

But in general, its probably not something that you can do as a pick-up style random game. This is probably why head to head, everyone for themselves, style of play is still more popular. Just because there's nothing complicated involved. You get dropped into a game, you shoot at people or anything that moves. You can't blame anyone for getting killed. Then if someone gets on your nerves, you just try to gun them down. Simple, clean, clear cut and you're out in say 30 minutes.

Of course, for groups of people who have alot more time on their hand and better organized, yeah, a RTS/FPS hybrid may be attractive.

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I_Smell_Tuna    96
Let me restate my idea more clearly. At the top of the chain you have a person playing RTS. This person gets currency or whatever to upgrade, spawn guys, get vehicles and make the base defenses. The RTS person won't actually move the units, although they could click on a FPS player and then click on an area where they are needed. When a person spawns they will play in FPS/RPG mode and fight against the opposing side. The FPS/RPG guys will kill other FPS/RPG guys and try to destory the enemy base. My idea wasn't to have somebody leading a squad although this could be an alternative to solo FPS/RPG gameplay.

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nihilisticod    204
your idea is actually more similar to Savage than natural selection.

I've never played savage but It got a lot of positive attention. I think as long as you don't get a moron commander, it could be great. Even if noone wants to obey him, the tactical info he can give would be worthwhile.

To try and guarentee that you get a good commander, one could implement a selection method based on player voting, current score (kills, deaths, somethign else?). And a player could pass the commander role if they wanted to stay in fps mode.

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Grim    241
Quote:
Original post by I_Smell_Tuna
Let me restate my idea more clearly. At the top of the chain you have a person playing RTS. [...]


I've also thought of a similar system, but I didn't stop there, I added one more layer on the top: at the top of the chain you have someone playing as a god, ie. as in the original Populous (not Populous the Beginning, which is fundamentally different)...

The gods could do anything to the environment. They could reshape the territory, throw in hailstorms, and what have you. They cannot, however, control any individual sentient life forms.

The RTS players could build structures and give orders, much as was suggested.

The FPS/RPG players could... ...well, do their thing. Fight. Roam around. Collect loot. Whatever. [grin] Depends on the theme of the game, and whether there is a "role-playing" element included.

The RTS players would build temples for the gods, trying to gain their favor. The FPS/RPG players could do all sort of religious stuff in the temples, such as sacrificing stuff or worshipping by other means. The gods would gain power from worshipping and then use this power as they see fit. RTS and FPS/RPG players could also pray for miracles etc. Gods could grant divine powers (spells etc.) to worshippers.

Note that the god players and the RTS players have different goals. An RTS player could build temples for different gods. A god could help out opposing factions of RTS players. If a god player wins (ie. by being the only worshipped god in the game), it doesn't necessarily mean anything for the RTS or FPS/RPG players. If an RTS player wins (controlling all the factions left alive), it doesn't necessarily mean anything for the god players.

Quote:
Original post by Dakar
One problem I think there is is that people are used to larger battles with multiple units. Even if we assume that 100 people can play, Each side is only using 49. In a game of Total Annihilation, for example, it is not uncommon for people to reach their 500 unit max.


How about having computer controlled "stupid" grunts for the RTS players to control as well? They could be weaker than the player controlled units.

Quote:
Original post by nihilisticod
To try and guarentee that you get a good commander, one could implement a selection method based on player voting, current score (kills, deaths, somethign else?). And a player could pass the commander role if they wanted to stay in fps mode.


Player voting can be good, but using the score can be a bad idea; a good FPS player is not necessarily a good RTS player and vice versa. Don't forget The Peter Principle:

Quote:
Laurence J. Peter, "The Peter Principle"
Everyone rises to their level of incompetence.


That is, as long as you know what to do and you do it well, you will get promoted. Eventually you will reach a level at which you are incompetent and can't get anything done, let alone well. From that position you won't be promoted — you have reached your "level of imcompetence".

Still, I have to agree with WeirdoFu here, though. It wouldn't be a game for the casual gamer. It could require a lot of co-operation and certainly would require discipline — you could just join as a FPS/RPG-player, but if you wanted your faction to win, you'd better follow orders...

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
I've given a fair amount of skull-time to a similar idea - the actual idea has been kicking around out there for 5-10 years at least, and I've been pondering it (independently) for most of that time.

The major elements I've come up with to make it semi-feasible are an automatic persistent ranking for FPS players and a hiring system for RTS players whereby they can offer a certain amount of resources per FPS player for FPS players of a given minimum rank (you can have multiple such recruitment drives going simultaneously - so high rank FPS players could get a large bonus, medium a small bonus, and low none) - in addition to the basic cost of outfitting. FPS players can then spend this bonus on additional loadout (like purchasing gear in Counter Strike).

So the FPS player loads up his persistent character profile, and goes to a lobby, where he can see a multisortable list of assignments suitable for his rank (or below) each with a commander rank, size of bonus, and (if implemented) what sort of equipment is available as basic loadout or available for purchase, also possibly some idea of the current state of the battle - winning easily, losing heavily, or about even. There is also an option to "buy into" a game - in which case, the player spends some of his accumulated funds to pay for his own start-up gear and in-game purchasing power, chooses a game and gets auto-assigned to a side - the auto-assign seeking to balance the buy-ins between the sides. It's also possible for a player in the lobby to get invited to a game by the RTS player, or start an un-ranked game of his own.

Once in game, the FPS player has a fairly standard interface, including radar and colour-coded waypoints - green for move-to/follow, red for attack and blue for defend/escort and indicators for operational stance (hold-fire, return-fire, fire-at-will, stand-ground, evade contact, explore, kamikaze, use-own-judgement), all of which potentially affect ranking, as well as standard chat options - up to 10 user-definable canned messages which can be sent to a range of possible recipients with 3 keystrokes, and the ability to enter other messages manually (at the usual cost of being less able to interact with the world). Vehicles are as in Halo - you can replace any AI or take any empty seat in a stationary vehicle. If you die, you can buy a respawn, get re-recruited onto the same side (for a small penalty, but keeping all resources), or return to the lobby (for a larger penalty). Dead units - AI or player - drop equipment.

Ranking change based on which side won (and how far the battle was skewed in your side's favour when you joined), individual effectiveness (territory explored, damage inflicted, damage sustained), and compliance with orders (a player who stormed the enemy base solo when told to kamikaze would get lots of points; one told to hold-fire and evade contact would lose lots of points; one told to use his own judgement would never be penalised, but would only get very small bonuses for following suggestions). Possibly the compliance score should be tracked separately. Premature disconnection means you only get scored on the situation up to the point you left, and miss out on a small bonus for being present to the end.

FPS players also keep a portion of any unspent resources - more if they were on the winning side which can be spent between games on avatar customisations, permanent equipment or special abilities. Permanent equipment costs significantly (10-100 times?) more than the equivalent equipment during a game, but can be taken into any game (for a price - probaly half that of buying the equipment in game) and if it's part of the initial load-out, you get the cost of the item in addition to any bonuses - plus, permanent equipment can be permanently upgraded over the standard issue gear. Special abilities would be very expensive, equivalent to the Ghost abilities from StarCraft or Hero abilities from WC3 - importing them into a game should cost resources (either from the offered bonus, or your personal reserve) and may be situational anyway (the ability to call a nuke requires a nuke to be available...). RTS player requests for the use of special abilities would show up as an appropriate icon appearing onscreen. FPS players can also import their personal resources into games - either for free when they join, or (possibly) for a fee when they want to spend them.


The RTS player plays a fairly standard RTS game (I'm thinking more of a *Craft-style, but you could probably do something more Total War-like with some work) complete with AI units, but can also recruit "mercenaries" - FPS players. To recruit, you effectively build them as you would any other unit, selecting the recruitment centre, then selecting the unit with the desired equipment, but, in addition to the set cost (slightly cheaper than equivalent AI units) you can add a bonus, and specify a minimum rank. You also have an "invite" option, which lets you select a specific FPS player from the lobby and make a direct offer, and an option to restrict the total number of buy-ins possible - whichever RTS player sets the lowest ceiling determines the maximum number of buy-ins the game will accept (without kicking any existing buy-ins). Once a recruitment offer is made, the relevant resources are "spent" immediately, and a new unit appears as soon as an FPS player joins up - if you cancel the recruitment before one arrives, you get the usual refund of resources, as you would for cancelling any other incomplete build order.

FPS players can be selected, given orders, and have operational stance set as any other AI unit (think Total Annihilation), supplemented by direct written messages (or voice chat if implemented) which can explain strategy in more detail.

RTS players also have rankings, which change primarily based on the outcome of the game (crushing victory through to crushing defeat) modified by opponent's rank and how well your troops followed your orders - if all your players had a large compliance bonus, you get a larger change in rank, while if they had large compliance penalties, you get a reduced change in rank - overall compliance would be calculated from individual compliance weighted by individual effectiveness.

***********************************************

My idea for a third layer above the RTS player is a slow-paced, turn-based strategy game, along the lines of Civilization or the board game Diplomacy, where the player takes his turn, assigns resources, optionally writes sealed orders, and specifies a minimum commander rank (or specific commander) for any battles that come up. He then gets on with the rest of his life while the battle goes on a queue at the server. RTS players then show up and are provided with a (sortable) list of battles for which they qualify, with preference given firstly to those that specify them as commander, secondly to those where only one more commander is needed, thirdly to those for which enough uncommitted commanders of sufficient rank are available to fill, then to any other official battles, then to unofficial friendlies.

If players choose a battle, and not enough opponents show up, then, after an initial waiting time (maybe 1 minute), they have the option to start it with AI players in the empty seats. If qualified players show up later, they can join a game in progress, replacing any AI players.

When the battle starts, or when a player takes over an AI position, they see any sealed orders and have a brief spectator period before they take control.

At the end of a battle, RTS players' ranking change is also modified by the approximate difficulty of the battle - if they perform better than the automatic resolution would have, they get a bonus; worse, a penalty. Any spare resources at the end of the battle are split between the commander (30%?) and the player whose forces he commanded. Commanders can invest personal resources in battles or in expensive personal upgrades.

If players leave the game, their troops are taken over by AI and their rankings adjust immediately. If all players leave, then the battle is automatically resolved.

Any battles more than a certain age (a day? a week? depends on (anticipated) turnover) are also automatically resolved.

Once all battles have been resolved, the TBS player is notified (by email) and can take his next turn. There may be a time limit on turns, or not, and there may be a central server for the TBS, or it may be pure play-by-email, just spawning battles to the server and getting e-mail notification of the outcome.

***************************************************

An unstated assumption of all this is that FPS players are available in slight excess - that, generally, the RTS players can always get as many FPS players as they can afford, and still have some buying in. If there's a significant shortage of FPS players, then the bonuses required to attract them will climb, and it will become uneconomic to use them rather than AI units, potentially reducing the game to a standard RTS - on the other hand, the fact that the AI units existence puts a cap on the value of FPS players should keep demand in line with supply. Also, the abiltiy to invite specific players will ensure friends can still team up together, whatever the economics.

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Gyrthok    412
I'd also thought of something very similar, and Allegiance is a good example of such a system as well.

Having solo FPS players fight against one(or more) RTS players who control NPC creatures/grunts was more the way i was going to go, like being SHODAN in System Shock battling against the Hacker and/or survivors.

The other way would probably be like black & white, where you can build buildings and be a god, but generally the FPS guys do their own thing and you help them along. If they want to win they'll have to beef and worship their "God" so he can use his almighty powers to smite their enemies. ;D

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Zero-51    122
I think it would be interesting to have one player be in a RTS view, and have alot of less powerful units to start with, and like heroes. Like in starcraft. With easy to buy lesser grunt units and lesser heroes. And they are merely supposed to eliminate the other players, who are in FPS view.

Say have like 8 people play against the one person in rts view. They have to work together to dstroy the base. and the one RTS person gets one heroe unit to start off. Like a boss unit. The Fps people are allowed to buy any guns they want like in Counter Strike. And the RTs has to get money by harvesting like minerals and stuff.

Or you could have it where the 8 Fps players have specialized characters.

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Rob Loach    1504
Sacrifice also had some similar gameplay. You controled your character in a third person perspective and had to take over buildings and create units controlling them through commands. You also had huge spells which could change the landscape and make volcanos. In fact, I think Sacrifice had the most intuitive gameplay I've seen to date.

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